POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES: Sky win at home game vs. Sun

SKY NOTES:

● Courtney Vandersloot’s seven first quarter points are the most she’s scored in any first quarter so far this season.

● Gabby Williams recorded 3 steals, a season-high.

● The Sky grabbed 25 rebounds, their lowest rebound total of the season.

● Allie Quigley did not score until three minutes into the third quarter, only the second time this season she did not score in the first half.

● This is the Sky’s first home loss of the season.

SUN NOTES:

● The loss snaps the Sun’s seven-game winning streak.

● After scoring a season-high 24 points in Friday’s game, Shekinna Stricklen was held scoreless for the first time this season.

● Jonquel Jones recorded her league-leading seventh double-double this season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

● The Sun scored just eight points during the second quarter, the team’s lowest total in any quarter all season.

● Connecticut’s 23-point third quarter deficit was its largest all season.

● The Sun were outrebounded for just the third time this season, 40-33.

● Connecticut shot a season-low 57.1% from the free-throw line.

POSTGAME QUOTES

SKY HEAD COACH/GM JAMES WADE

On the progress made in creating a winning culture with the Sky:

“I say it all the time that they [the Sky players] work very hard and they work very hard together. It just shows that we’re doing the right things and that everybody’s buying into doing the right things. Yesterday, we had a short practice, but it was hard – it was tough. And mentally, they dug in and everybody was excited to finish practice, but I think everybody was excited in practice too. They knew we had a task at hand and they came out today extra focused. When we focus like that and when we play together with that kind of urgency, the sky’s the limit for us.”

On how they prepared to keep Jonquel Jones in check:

“She’s a great player. I had the benefit of coaching her for seven months, so I know her pretty well, and [Courtney Vandersloot] knows her pretty well. There’s nothing you can do to shut her down, but just knowing her tendencies every day, you can help the situation. But it’s on the players to be focused and say ‘We’re going to execute the game plan’. The other coaches on the staff do a really good job of preparing us and giving us the information that we need. But we have to execute the game plan. Sometimes great players make it difficult, and she made it difficult tonight. But, we were able to have the upper hand because we were in spaces that she’d like to be, and that helped us tonight.”

SKY FORWARD CHEYENNE PARKER

On the type of statement this win makes about the Sky around the league:

“It just emphasizes what we already know, which is that we’re the team to beat. And I don’t think everyone realizes that the potential that this team has, we haven’t even reached. So, I think the statement we said is that we’re a force to reckon with this season.”

SKY GUARD COURTNEY VANDERSLOOT

On difference between Friday’s loss to Indiana and tonight’s win over Connecticut:

“We had something to prove. We came out flat last game. We had a little chip on our shoulder, we knew the best team in the league was coming in, and that type of effort [in the game against the Fever] – we were going to get run off the floor if we had the same type of effort. We knew that if we played harder than them, we were going to win the game.”

On Cheyenne Parker bouncing back from Friday’s game with a career-best night:

“I think it was huge of her to bounce back from last game. She didn’t shoot a lot last game, I think she was 0-for-4, but to come and have it against this team after a night like that says a lot about who she is as a person and as a player, and how important she is to us and this team.

On whether there is a difference in intensity between this season’s team and previous teams:

“I think it’s a different confidence, maybe not a different intensity. We’re in the best league in the world, so every locker room you go into is intense. But we have a confidence about us that we haven’t had in the past couple seasons. We’re playing fun basketball, we’re doing it together, and we’re confident in what we can do and what we can do at the end of the season.”

SUN HEAD COACH CURT MILLER

On the Sky’s energy and fast start:

“They put us on our heels from the beginning. We give up 28 made field goals a game; they had 25 in the first half, so their execution was great, and that’s what’s special about them, they have five players on the floor who can score at any time. They can really congest things at times and then they can spread you out, so you’re picking your poison all the time. You’re trying to contest and get the ball out of Vandersloot’s hands, but then they have all those shooters around, so hat’s off. They were terrific offensively, they were the aggressor and we were a step too slow all night. We did a better job in the second half, but that’s a big deficit to come back from with a team that talented.”

On their first defeat since May 31:

“The one thing you learn about this league is these nights happen and you’ve got to have a short-term memory while also learning what did they exploit and consider what we did and didn’t do well, but you’ve also gotta keep in mind games happen so quickly in this league.”

On the Sky’s physicality:

“They’re such a collective team. They were all making shots tonight, but I thought their physicality in the post out of Jantel Lavender and Cheyenne Parker really set the tone against us in that first half and the game as a whole.”

SUN CENTER JONQUEL JONES

On first loss in the month of June:

“I think that they are a team with high energy, and so, tonight, we didn’t come out with enough energy to match theirs. I think that that’s one of the ways we can play the game better and be a better team than before. It’s a long season, sometimes things like this just happen when you’re in the league.”

On battling Stefanie Dolson and Jantel Lavender tonight:

“I think Stef was outside a little bit more, but I thought Jantel had a good rebounding night.” On her WNBA-leading seventh double-double of the season: “Honestly, I really don’t care. I just want to win. I’m sorry, I just want to win. I think there were a lot of ways I could have been better. And that’s what I’m thinking about to be honest.”

SUN FORWARD ALYSSA THOMAS

On first loss in a long time:

“We didn’t play well tonight. It happens. It’s a long season. You just kind of gotta let this go. Learn from it and move onto the next.” On the ebbs and flows of the season: “We know everybody is going to come at us with their best game. We got to be better. Our energy was kind of low tonight. We got to take a look at the film. Like I said learn from this one and move onto the next.”

On improvements heading into Wednesday’s matchup in Dallas:

“Just our defense. We weren’t as sharp as we usually are, Dallas is a team that likes to run and they’re really big so we’ve just gotta focus, lock in on [defense] and rebound.